The first half was basically split in half. The Cougars, taking advantage of UW’s aggressiveness on defense, scored three times on back cuts. That made UW basket aware and led to wide-open looks from 3. Nik Koprivica, making his first start of the season, took advantage, hitting three 3-pointers. On the other end, WSU’s 2-3 zone slowed the Huskies to a crawl, with UW unable to hit from the outside. Read on for more.
As the game wore and WSU’s bigs got into foul trouble (DeAngelo Casto picked up two early, the same for James Watson) the Huskies became more comfortable attacking WSU’s defense (the Cougs played a little man but not much). After trailing 25-16 with 10 minutes left, UW rode Quincy Pondexter and his 19 points to the locker room. The Huskies took their first lead at the 2:26 mark, when they had six chances to score, finally getting two points as Pondexter hit two free throws for a 32-31 edge. WSU took the lead into the half as Xavier Thames, who had 11 points (tying his season high) in the half, hit a jumper with 2 seconds left. Koprivica led WSU with 13 points … There were a couple of points were tempers flared, once when Pondexter and Marcus Capers were hit with Ts (I thought it was on Thames, but was wrong I guess). … Some key stats: UW is 1 of 9 from beyond the arc, WSU 6 of 10; the rebounds are tied at 22 after WSU led much of the half; WSU has nine turnovers, UW just four, but one of those was a steal and a dunk by Reggie Moore that put WSU up three with 4:15 left. We’ll be back.